Delicious Side Dishes for Your Summer Barbecues

Summer is the season of covered dishes. If you are looking for some ideas to bring to your next dinner or BBQ, here are a few favorites that I have come to love over the years.

These top picks have been awarded compliments time and again. They are sure to be a hit for you as well and are just as simple to prepare as they are fun to devour. Enjoy!

Fresh Fruit with Disappearing Dip


  • Strawberries
  • Pineapples (fresh or tinned)
  • Apples


  • marshmallow fluff ( store bought or make your own)
  • one pack of cream cheese
  1. Thoroughly wash your fresh fruit. (Preferably purchased from your local farmer’s market if possible) Leave the strawberries whole, but slice your pineapple and apples into bite-sized shapes.
  2. Place the fruit in groupings around your serving dish, but remember to leave room in the center for your dip.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix a large spoonful of fluff into your cream cheese. Here lies the challenging part. Your end result will be a smooth dip, but it will take some forceful mixing. Of course, you can use a mixer, but I enjoy the challenge.
    Use a fork to break up the cream cheese while forcefully mixing the fluff into the cream cheese one spoonful at a time until you have the desired sweetness and consistency. I prefer a very sweet dip, so I use more fluff than cream cheese.
    You may prefer the taste of the cream cheese, so taste often using a clean spoon. When you have reached the desired consistency and taste, spoon the mixture into your serving bowl. Serve with a smile despite your sore arm – it’s delicious!
plate of fresh salad with fruit and vegetables.

Crisp Pepper and Cucumber Salad


  • 3 large cucumbers (or 6 small)
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  1. Thinly slice cucumbers. I prefer to completely peel the skin on the cucumber if the skin is especially thick.
    If you have organic or farmer’s market produce, you’re likely to not have to peel at all because the skin will be un-waxed and, therefore, not as tough.
  2. Julienne red pepper into thin strips
  3. Thinly slice ½ of a medium-sized onion.
  4. In a separate small bowl, mix vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Pour over the cucumbers. Add the onions and peppers and mix again until the vegetables are well coated with the mixture.

This salad can be served immediately. However, the flavors of the salad will develop as they cool in the refrigerator, so it makes a great make ahead dish as well.

Vanilla-Berry Cake


  • Vanilla cake (store-bought mix or made from scratch)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh mixed berries

Slice the strawberries and other larger-sized berries into smaller pieces, but allow them to keep some of their shapes -don’t slice and dice.

After following directions for the cake batter, carefully fold the frozen or fresh berries into the batter. Pour into desired pan (my favorite is a bunt for this), and cook according to the cake recipe.

The berries add fresh taste and color to a traditional dessert. Yum! Serve with a whipped topping, plain, or with prepared frosting.

Summer Barbecues made easy

Summertime is often the busiest time of the year with baseball games, barbecues, and other outdoor activities and adventures.

These recipes will allow you to keep time in the kitchen at a minimum while still creating something that you can enjoy bringing – and eating – at your next get-together.

More summer food posts:

Simple Summer Meals The Family Will Devour

Easy, Tasty and Healthy Summer Veggie Recipes

Gorgeous Grilled Summer Dinner Recipes

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

Pinterest image for barbecue side dishes for summer.
Pinterest image for barbecue side dishes for summer.

Last Updated on 4th April 2023 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

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